How to Add an Addon Domain in cPanel

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With the Addon Domains option, the cPanel system uses a subdirectory as a document root to serve files. In addition to hosting websites, addon domains can be used for email accountsFTP accounts, and more.

Remember that although you can create addon domains the domain name must be registered in order to be reachable on the web. The following list is a description of the terms used when creating an addon domain:

  • New Domain Name – The domain name you are using for your addon domain.
  • Subdomain / FTP Username – When adding a new domain to your account, cPanel can automatically configure an additional FTP user for this domain.
  • Document Root – The document root is the directory where the files for this website will be located. The default directory for new domains is /home/userna5/new_domain_name.com
  • Password – The password you enter here is the FTP password for the FTP user mentioned above. As previously stated, most users don’t use this new FTP account, but cPanel requires that you enter a password here.

Steps to Create an Addon Domain

  1. Log in to cPanel.
  2. Under Domains choose Addon Domains.

  3. Fill in the new domain name under Create an Addon Domain.

  4. The Subdomain and Document Root fields will populate automatically, but these can be changed.

  5. If you want an FTP account created automatically for this domain, check the box for Create an FTP account associated with this Addon Domain.

  6. Click on Add Domain.
  7. You will see a confirmation message if the system created the domain successfully. Click on the File Manager link to see the folder that was created for the domain.



    Note that your addon domain is added under the folder name that you add to the document root entry. You can change its location by modifying the path in the addon domains list.

Once your domain has been verified, then the addon domain will have been added to your account! Note that there may be a time delay before the domain begins working on the server. This is known as propagation time. You can learn more about that in our propagation article.

At the creation of an addon domain, the cPanel system generates a subdomain. For example, if your primary domain is example.com and you create abcd123.com as an addon domain, there will be a subdomain titled abcd123.example.com. Do not delete or alter the contents of this subdomain; it is required for the proper function of the addon domain.

Using Addon Domains With or Without Registration

You can use virtually any domain as an addon, but the domain must be registered in order to be accessed from the web. For example, you could create google.com as an addon domain. However, only domains you have registered will work on the web.

However, it is possible to serve files from an unregistered domain if you use a hosts file modification. This can be helpful in the development phase of a website before the site is ready to go public.

You can still use a domain that is NOT registered through InMotion Hosting. The easiest way to handle it is to simply change the nameservers for that domain name to point at InMotion Hosting. For more information on how to do this, please see. How to Change your Domain’s Nameservers.

Modify an Addon Domain Document Root in cPanel

If you accidentally pointed an addon domain to an incorrect folder, or simply changed your mind on where you’d like that domain to pull its files from, you can modify this quite easily in cPanel using the steps below:

  1. Click on Addon Domains in cPanel.

  2. Double-click on the pencil icon under the Document Root column beside the domain you’d like to modify.

  3. Type in the new folder you’d like to have that domain pull its files from, and click Change.

  4. You should now see a pop-up in cPanel saying it’s updating the document root. After it’s updated in the pop-up, click on OK.

The folder you typed in as the updated site’s document root will now be set. When you view the website the files for that site will be pulled from the new location.

Removing an Addon Domain

Removing an addon domain is relatively simple and you can do so within cPanel itself.

  1. Click on the Addon Domains icon in cPanel.
  2. Now, scroll down and find the list of addon domains.
  3. Next to the addon domain that you wish to remove, click on Remove.

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